Amy Scobee — who spent 27 years in the Church and ended up as a top manager at the church’s international base in California, building its network of Celebrity Centers — told Celebuzz that if Suri, 6, remains a Scientologist, she could eventually be brainwashed into rejecting her own birth mother.
“If Katie is asking a judge for sole custody — and it’s going to be any sort of battle whatsoever — Katie will be considered an enemy of the Church,” said Scobee, who worked for Scientology until 2005.
“She does have a legitimate reason to worry that Suri could be turned against her.”
As Celebuzz previously reported, ex-Dawson’s Creek star Holmes’ decision to file for divorce from Cruise, 49, was based “largely on her desire to distance Suri from Scientology,” according to a source. The insider added the forthcoming divorce proceeding would focus less on money than on custody-related issues involving how Suri is raised.
Scobee said Holmes, 33, should be concerned that her inner-most secrets told in Church confessionals could be publicly released, if that court battle turns nuclear.
“She better be careful… she better be wary,” Scobee said.
The Scientology whistleblower spoke to Celebuzz Editor in Chief Dylan Howard.
Celebuzz: It’s been said Katie Holmes was a virtual prisoner to the Church of Scientology. Was she?
Scobee: Yes. I really do believe that. The religion is so regimented that it’s required you hire personal staff whom are Scientologists so that you don’t have any external influence on your life. That is what Katie faced. You follow the faith. You cannot think twice about having Suri study anything other than Scientology. Tom Cruise would have made it completely clear to Katie that to KSW — Keep Scientology Working — she needed to either be in 100 percent, or you are out. Tom is over the top about it himself, so therefore, her life was always going to be seriously regimented in that direction. To him, there is no possible way that Scientology could not have any role in how to bring up a child.
CB: Do you think Katie could have made this decision to divorce Tom to save Suri?
AS: I don’t think that it is only a decision for Suri. I think it was a decision designed to get out of the whole entrapment. That is speculation on my part; I’m not in their house to know what has even going on. But I wouldn’t think there would be very much freedom for her, now. But I am sure there were also some other things that weighed on her. When you are extremely dedicated to Scientology, as Tom is, you are either in or you are out. For Katie, her parents were never particularly fond of her being in the Church or Scientology itself. That could act as friction against the Church. Thus, she could have been forced to make a decision: stay connected to her family, or Tom and the Church.
CB: Why could she not have had both?
AS: When you are in the Church, you can’t have any negative stuff without handling it. If you can’t handle it, you have to disconnect. To that effect, if she was being pressured at all to choose between the Church and her family, I would find that disgusting. So, with Suri, Katie could have been told that she needed to give her up for the Sea Org [The Sea Org, or Sea Organization, is the body within the Church whose members wear maritime uniforms]. I know what it is like. I was 15 and I was made to sign up for the Sea Org. My mom was forced to let me go, because it was ‘a contribution to Scientology.’
CB: There has been the suggestion made that if Suri remains a Scientologist, she will eventually be brainwashed into rejecting her own birth mother. This happens frequently when one partner in a marriage decides to quit the church. The rest of the family ‘disconnect’ from them – the church writes them out of their lives. Is that true?
CB: Would Katie have a legitimate concern that Suri could be brainwashed and turned against her?
CB: Why would a daughter be turned against a mother?
AS: It is a real basic concept in Scientology. You either need to handle or disconnect from trouble. If Katie is asking a judge for sole custody — and it’s going to be any sort of battle whatsoever — Katie will be considered an enemy of the Church. Tom and his best friend, David Miscavige, who run the church, are all about Scientology. She does have a legitimate reason to worry that Suri could be turned against her.
CB: You were in the Church when Tom split from his first wife, actress Nicole Kidman. At the time, it was suspected that their adopted children, Bella and Connor, both raised in Scientology, turned against their mother. Do you have first hand knowledge of that?
AS: No. I don’t. But it’s almost a given that it is true. As a Church member, I wouldn’t doubt that whatsoever because Nicole wasn’t wanting to continue in Scientology and the only salvation for “man” is Scientology. If she wanted to be a suppressant, or a potential trouble source, the Church is of the belief that she shouldn’t “drag down” the kids with her.
CB: According to your book, Abuse at the Top, in 1991, you were appointed as the “Watchdog Committee” member to oversee the Celebrity Center sector. You worked closely with some of the world’s best-known celebrity Scientologists. What kind of exposure did you have to Tom Cruise?
AS: Before I even worked over at the Celebrity Center, I was in management at the Church. I was the ‘Watchdog’ community member for International Management. But before that, I did a project to locate Scientologists to fill household staff for Cruise and Nicole Kidman. That was my first exposure to high-profile Church followers, like celebrities. I went to Tom and Nicole’s house, I submitted several possibilities for staff and I did many video interviews for them. I didn’t tell the candidates who it was for. Anyone who looked like they would be acceptable, I did a full submission for the Chairman of the Board (Miscavige) and his assistant. We then gave them to Andrea Morse [the daughter of actor Robert Morse] who was Cruise’s assistant, at the time. That was then forwarded to Tom and Nicole. That’s how we hired their maid, cook and staff like that. We ensured they were surrounded by Scientologists.
CB: Why did you want the Cruises surrounded with Scientologists?
AS: It was never said that was the purpose, but that is what was done. The reason: Everyone should be a Scientologist. You have more understanding about the belief system with people who have the same belief system as you. Therefore, you surround yourself with those people. But also because if they stepped out of line, then there was an organizational structure in place… get their ethics in, get them to say what their crimes were and that stuff. Bottom line, if there is any trouble in the household, the Scientologists can get put on the E meter and asked about the so-called crime. There is a whole organization to support and protect you. The other reason: the executives also had a line to dial into to understand what the hell is going on with that celebrity.
CB: So David Miscavige would have knowledge of Tom Cruise’s inner-most secrets?
AS: The inner-most secrets are what he admits in his confessional. Yes, David has access to that. He also knows what goes on in a daily basis in Tom’s household. There are no secrets either, because people who work there might well be asked what is going on.
CB: Do you have any first hand knowledge of Tom’s confessionals?
AS: No. I don’t. But I know people who do. They would never tell what he said in his confessionals, anyway.
CB: Would Miscavige have access to what Katie Holmes said in her confessionals?
AS: Yes. Like all celebrities, he keeps tabs on them.
CB: Is that not a gross invasion of privacy?
AS: I think it is. There is the notion of the priest privilege, where it’s just between you and the priest. It’s not like that in Scientology. It goes to the person’s case supervisor and then to David, who is the senior-most executive of the church. He has an invested interest to make sure the celebrities are doing okay, therefore he wants to look at their case files to ensure they are getting standard auditing and processing, etc. That’s his motivation, in theory. But that’s not what he is doing. He is looking at their dirt. He wants to know everything that’s in their life. From there, he can direct how to handle the star or things that are bothering them. When he has conversations with them, he therefore knows how to rope them in more. It’s a control factor.
CB: Should Katie be concerned that her secrets could be released?
AS: Yes, that’s for sure.
CB: How would they be released?
AS: With me, it was put in the Church’s freaking magazine [Freedom]. It was also altered to be presented in an exaggerated fashion. They don’t hold any punches, the Church. If you are an enemy, well, you are an enemy. Like film director Paul Haggis. He got an entire magazine published about him. The Church is nasty. To them, you’re fair game when you are against the church.
CB: Is Katie now ‘Public Enemy Number One’?
AS: I don’t know… because I don’t know the full circumstances. The questions are, is she trying to get her independence from Scientology, Tom or Scientology and Tom? Or are her and Tom just fighting?
CB: It was reported that Katie was being followed, though the church denied that claim. Is it in the church’s capabilities to have her tailed?
AS: Absolutely. Consider this: I was being followed for months and months, at a time — and I am not even high profile. I am not even as big as a threat as it would be for Tom to leave, or for Katie to expose what happened when she was in the Church. To the Church, that would be devastating. They are going to want to know who she has been talking to, where she has been going and who she has been seeing. It would not surprise me — in the least bit — if they had that intelligence. The Church would have spoken to people who previously worked as her staff. She better be careful of. Even the people who were hired security… they were Scientologists. They would have been previously reporting back to the Church. She better be wary.
AS: It’s what they do. The Church expects people to report what she’s doing or saying.
CB: When Tom split with Nicole, you were a very senior member at the church. Was she spied on?
AS: I have no information on that. That kind-of dirty laundry stuff was contained to Special Affairs. I have only ever heard stories about it once I was out. I would never agree to that, either.
CB: Were you in the church when Tom met Katie?
AS: I was out by that time. I was watching it on TV.
CB: What would your advice be to Katie at this point?
AS: Don’t get marriage counseling because the Church will use that to ask about your transgressions. The Church doesn’t need to know that. It will use it against you, if you ever step out of line. Get a good lawyer. Get rid of any staff members that were hired under the Church of Scientology’s guidance.
CB: Would the Church be encouraging her to go to their sanctioned counseling?
AS: Oh, yes. I would think so. You are not supposed to get a divorce in Scientology. They supposedly have the technology to fund these marriages. This is the dichotomy of what a successful life is. Look at Tom, he’s ruined… it’s his third marriage and it’s devastating him. Scientology is supposed to be the technology to salvage a marriage.
CB: What’s your advice for Tom?
AS: Step away from Scientology. Separate yourself from David Miscavige. Find out what really is the truth, because if he is living a lie, it’s just going to be so bad. I wish the best for all of them. He’s a talented actor, so I wish the best for him too.